Russia's Highest Court Upholds So-Called LGBT Propaganda Law
Russia's highest court upheld the country's ban on so-called LGBT propaganda last week, claiming it was necessary to prevent children from being recruited into non-heterosexual society.
Activists Nikolay Alekseev, Yaroslav Evtushenko, and Dmitry Isakov filed the complaint with the Constitutional Court of Russia, claiming it violated their constitutional right to freedom of speech, while also discriminating against them, RT reports.
The court, however, said the law was aimed at protecting minors from information that could "push [them] to nonconventional sexual relationships, which in their turn prevent from building a family, as it is traditionally understood in Russia." The court also said the law was not an outright ban or censure of homosexuality.
Constitutional Court judge Nikolay Bondar said the law also contends that minors must not be allowed in pro-LGBT events like rallies or discussions, nor can the information promoted be aimed at young people.
"The practices of some European countries, which are connected with the deformation of traditional values of family and marriage, can't be an example for us," Bondar said.
Each of the activists who filed the complaint were fined for protesting the law, which was enacted last year. Private citizens may be fined anywhere between 4,000-5,000 rubles ($100-$130), which is how the three activists were charged. Civil servants may be charged anywhere between 40,000 and 50,000 rubles (or $1,000-$1,300), while messages from the media or Internet by legal entities could lead to fines as high as 1 million rubles, or $26,000.